INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this protocol is to ensure the ongoing education of Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School’s students under unusual circumstances. The protocol is written in response to COVID-19 measures to maintain the education of students who may be absent from school due to shielding or self-isolation, whilst the school is open, and when students are absent during periods of lockdown. In addition, the protocol will future-proof against closures that could happen at any time: due to school closure from illness, epidemic, extreme weather, power-loss, etc. 

This remote and blended learning protocol aims to:

  • Ensure consistency in the approach to remote learning when students are not in school
  • Set out expectations for all members of the school community with regards to remote and blended learning
  • Provide appropriate guidelines for data protection

We would expect that many of the steps below are already be in place for most staff within our school. We would expect that there will be future benefits to putting these plans into place and will be proactive in ensuring that the following are observed.  

General Requirements:

  • Staff have access to Microsoft Teams for classes, and that these are set up
  • Every effort is made to ensure that students within classes have access to the relevant Microsoft Team/Internet websites (where pre-recorded materials are being used) and, where this is not possible, ensure their learning needs are provided for by other means
  • Students know how to access and participate in lessons on Teams (and specific Teams Meetings instruction)
  • Lessons are differentiated to reflect the age, ability and different learning needs of individuals and groups within classes
  • Lessons are recorded for future reference and safeguarding purposes and with due regard to data protection (See ‘Safeguarding’ below)
  • Parents who do not consent to the opportunity for their child/children to participate in remote learning lessons have been given the opportunity to advise us of this
  • Staff are familiar with the main functions of Microsoft Teams
  • Staff have the ability to host a Teams Meeting (video and/or audio) with their classes either from their classrooms or from home
  • Parents and students are made aware, in advance, of the arrangements in place for the continuity of education.

Safeguarding:

  • When working from home staff should seek a quiet or private space and consider what is showing in the background. The use of a background screen, from the selection on Teams, is recommended
  • Personal contact details must not be shared when emailing multiple people
  • School email addresses must be used
  • User names and other personal data must not be shared to access online resources.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Teachers

As far as possible, we will attempt to replicate the timetable that students follow through the course of a normal school day. 

When providing remote learning, teachers must be available between 08:30 and until they have fulfilled their teaching duties for the day.  This may occur whilst the teacher is in school or at home in self-isolation or due to a lockdown, unless unable to provide learning. This may be due to illness or caring for a dependent and, in this case, the normal sickness reporting procedure will be followed and alternative provision, for the lesson, will be put in place.

We are mindful of the challenges of operating in an unfamiliar environment in that:

  • Online learning operates on a very different dynamic
  • Some activities do not lend themselves as well as others to remote learning. Where this is the case, an alternative topic from the curriculum may be taught, in discussion with the subject leader, with the activity being covered at a later, suitable point

Staff should ensure that:

  • They have received appropriate training
  • They have their Tablet and headset (where applicable) available at home
  • They have access to key resources, not available online, at home e.g. textbooks

When providing remote learning, teachers are responsible for:

  1. Setting work during periods of lockdown
  • Work should be set for all the classes they teach
  • The amount of work set should be equivalent to learning time
  • The work should be available at the time of the lesson at the latest (supporting resources may be sent in advance)
  • Staff should start Teams lessons on time and check the register
  • Where the lesson is being delivered live the usual lesson structure should be followed, including a clear and thorough introduction to the lesson, its objectives and how it is expected that students will work to achieve them. There will be times, during the lesson, when students work independently. During these periods, the teacher should remain online ready to answer any questions posed by students, using the chat option, either on chat or verbally as appropriate
  • Where pre-recorded materials are being used, the link to these materials must be clear. The teacher must remain on-line ready to answer any questions posed by the students using the chat option
  • Homework should be issued and collected in line with the homework timetable
  • The Subject Leader must ensure that appropriate pre-recorded work is set where the teacher is unable to deliver the lesson

       2. Setting work for students absent due to self-isolation or shielding

  • The above principles must be followed with the student/student(s) either being invited, via Teams, to join the face to face lesson or set pre-recorded materials that cover the topic, enable the expected progress and are age, ability and need appropriate

       3. Providing feedback on work

  • Teachers can give feedback in a variety of ways that best suit the teacher and the student and should be in-line with the schools marking protocol
  • Feedback can be shared via Show My Homework or via e-mail
  • Individual feedback, during lessons, can be shared verbally or via the chat option

       4. Keeping in touch with students who are absent from school and their parents

  • Teachers should aim to respond to emails from students within 24 hours and, from parents, within 48 hours. Teachers are not expected to answer emails outside of working hours
  • Tutors should make regular contact with their tutor group via TEAMS as instructed
  • Teachers will make contact with students in-line with their teaching timetable via TEAMS verbally or via the chat option
  • Any complaints or concerns shared by students or parents should be handled in the appropriate manner and passed on as appropriate
  • Safeguarding concerns should be reported following the normal procedure and as outlined in the Safeguarding Protocol
  • Any behavioural issues should be dealt with following the schools’ behaviour protocol
  • Concerns about attendance should be passed to the Year Leader and Attendance Administrator

       5. Attending virtual lessons and meetings with staff, parents and pupils

  • The schools’ staff and student dress code should be followed. (Staff and students should be fully and appropriately clothed)
  • The location should be quiet with nothing inappropriate in the background (staff are advised to use the whole school background option on Teams)
  • No other individuals should be present (unless the lesson is being delivered to one student only and a parent wishes to be present during its delivery)
  • The teacher is under no obligation to be seen by students or parents
  • Students must make sure that their camera is turned off and should remain on mute unless specifically requested to participate in a discussion
  • The lesson is to be recorded to allow students to watch the lesson again

Teaching Assistants

When assisting with remote learning, teaching assistants must be available between 08.30/08.40 (as per their contract) and 15.00.  This may occur whilst the Teaching Assistant is in school or at home in self-isolation, unless unable to provide support for learning.  

If a Teaching Assistant is unable to work for any reason during this time, for example, due to sickness or caring for a dependent, they should report this using the normal absence procedure 

When assisting with remote learning, teaching assistants are responsible for: 

  1. Supporting pupils who are not in school with learning remotely
  • Teaching Assistants will be allocated students to support by the SENDCo, Head of the ASC Resource or their Assistants as appropriate
  • Support can be given in a variety of formats, which could include telephone calls, emails and supporting in TEAMS lessons by creating ‘breakout’ rooms for just the TA and the student

       2. Attending virtual meetings with teachers, parents and pupils:

  • The schools’ dress code should be followed
  • The locations must be quiet with nothing inappropriate in the background (The use of a Teams background screen is recommended)
  • The teaching assistant is under no obligation to be seen by students or parents
  • Students must make sure that their camera is turned off and that their microphone is on mute unless expressly being invited to contribute verbally. Chat is the recommended method of contribution

Subject Leaders

Alongside their teaching responsibilities, subject leaders are responsible for:

  • Considering whether any aspects of the subject curriculum need to change to accommodate remote learning and sharing this with their staff
  • Advising on appropriate topics to cover
  • Working with teachers teaching their subject remotely to make sure all work set is appropriate and consistently
  • Working with other subject leaders and senior leaders to make sure work set remotely, across all subjects, is appropriate and consistent, and deadlines are being set an appropriate distance away from each other
  • Quality assurance of work set for independent learning tasks
  • Quality assurance of online teaching in live lessons
  • Monitoring the remote work set by teachers in their subject, reviewing work set and advising on any changes needed
  • Alerting teachers to resources they can use to teach their subject remotely including those created by department colleagues. 

Senior Leaders 

Alongside any teaching responsibilities, senior leaders are responsible for:

  • Coordinating the remote learning approach across the school
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of remote learning; using staff meetings and giving professional development time
  • Quality assurance of provision across faculties, subjects (in discussion with the SENDCo and Head of the ASC Resource to ensure the provision meets the needs of the assigned students)
  • Quality assure teaching and learning
  • Ensuring staff have access to a suitable device in their classroom or, in the event of closure, that staff have suitable at home and if not, supply them with a device during the closure period
  • Ensuring, as far as possible, that students have access to a suitable device in the event of closure including taking maximum advantage of the central government commitment to providing a device to key groups of students
  • Monitoring the security of remote learning systems, including data protection and safeguarding considerations
  • Ensuring that students have signed the Acceptable User Protocol and that we maintain a central record.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (Assistant Headteacher)

  • Ensure safe remote learning procedures are in place (staff and students fully clothed, suitable location and background, students have video off and microphone on mute, lesson is recorded) and that the Safeguarding Protocol and Addendum are being followed
  • Co-ordinate a programme of learning walks into remote lessons conducted directly or by other senior colleagues to ensure processes are in place and are being followed
  • Record the findings and address any concerns as appropriate
  • Ensure the implementation of improvements and monitor and review accordingly

IT staff 

IT staff are responsible for:

  • Resolving issues with systems used to set and collect work
  • Helping staff with any technical issues they’re experiencing
  • Reviewing the security of remote learning systems and flagging any data protection breaches to the data protection officer
  • Assisting staff, students and parents with accessing the internet or devices 

NB: We subscribe to Securus who monitor student activity on school-owned devices such that concerns can be addressed.

Students and parents

Staff can expect students learning remotely to:

  • Attend scheduled lessons throughout the day
  • Use the normal procedures to report an absence from a lesson
  • Complete work to the deadline set by teachers
  • Seek help as needed, from teachers or teaching assistants, via email or the Teams chat option (if during a lesson)
  • Alert teachers if they’re not able to complete work explaining why

Staff can expect parents with children learning remotely to:

  • Respect the guidelines set out above
  • Be respectful when making any complaints or concerns known to staff

Governing Body

The Governing Body is responsible for:

  • Monitoring the schools’ approach to providing remote and blended learning to ensure education remains as high quality as possible
  • Ensuring the appropriate checks to confirm that remote learning systems are appropriately secure, for both data protection and safeguarding reasons

WHO TO CONTACT

If staff have any questions or concerns about blended or remote learning, they may seek advice from the following staff:

  • Setting work - talk to the relevant subject leader, SENDCO or Head of the ASC Resource (where SEND provision is the concern)
  • Behaviour - talk to the subject leader/relevant Year Leader
  • IT - talk to Network Manager or Assistant
  • Own workload/well-being - talk to their line manager, Senior Mental Health Lead (AHT) or Human Resources Officer
  • Data protection - talk to the School Business Manager
  • Safeguarding - talk to the DSL or Key Stage DDSL

DATA PROTECTION

Accessing personal data

When accessing student personal data for remote learning purposes, all staff members will:

  • Ensure that student data accessed on their Tablet is kept secure by locking their device when moving away from it
  • Keep their password and PIN confidential and secure.

Processing personal data

Staff members may need to collect and/or share personal data such as parent email addresses as part of the remote learning system. As long as this processing is necessary for the school’s official functions, individuals won’t need to give permission for this to happen. However, staff are reminded to collect and/or share as little personal data as possible online.

Keeping devices secure

Staff members, issued with a Tablet, will take appropriate steps to ensure their devices remain secure. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Keeping the device password-protected – strong passwords are at least 8 characters, with a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. asterisk or currency symbol)
  • Making sure the device locks if left inactive for a period of time
  • Not sharing the device among family or friends

IT Support will:

  • Install and retain up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware software
  • Maintain operating systems up to date – always installing the latest updates
  • Ensure hard drives are encrypted – this means if the device is lost or stolen, no one can access the files stored on the hard drive by attaching it to a new device.

LINKS WITH POLICIES

This protocol is linked to our:

  • E-safety Protocol
  • Behaviour Protocol and Addendum
  • Safeguarding protocol and Addendum
  • Mental Health and Well-being Protocol
  • Data protection protocol
  • Teaching and Learning Protocol

PROTOCOL REVIEW

This protocol will be reviewed annually.

Appendix 1

Guidance for Parents:

www.gov.uk - Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)6th October 2020

These resources aim to support parents and carers to keep their children safe online:

  • Support for parents and carers to keep children safe online, which outlines resources to help keep children safe from different risks online and where to go to find support and advice
  • Guidance on staying safe online which includes information on security and privacy settings
  • Thinkuknow provides advice from the National Crime Agency (NCA) on staying safe online
  • Parent info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations
  • Childnet offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support
  • Internet matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world
  • London Grid for Learning has support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online
  • Net-aware has support for parents and carers from the NSPCC, including a guide to social networks, apps and games
  • Let’s Talk About It has advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
  • UK Safer Internet Centre has tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services

NB: the central government publication of 6th October, referenced above, contains links to each of the documents listed above.

Appendix 2

www.gov.uk - For School Staff, "Get Help With Remote Education", 29th October 2020

This support has been co-designed with schools. It is intended to support those looking for help to improve the quality of their remote provision in line with the expectations set out in the guidance for schools.

Staff can access:

  • a sector-led remote education good practice guide to support school leaders in developing remote education contingency plans
  • resources from Oak National Academy, created by teachers across England in response to school closures and offering around 10,000 lessons across a variety of subjects for reception to year 11
  • a series of new, school-led webinars on remote education to help share good practice in the guidance for schools
  • example lessons for remote teaching to help teachers adapt their classroom practice for remote education

NB: the central government publication of 29th October, referenced above, contains links to each of the resources above.